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Chances are, if you’re a full-time RVer, a weekend warrior, or even a lover of road trips, you’ve heard about the RV membership program Harvests Hosts.
Instead of a free overnight stay in a sketchy Walmart parking lot or a loud truck stop, imagine waking up next to Cabernet grape vines. That’s what you can experience RV camping with Harvest Hosts.
Harvest Hosts Review After 50+ Stays
There are over 4,000 hosts across North America, including Alaska, Canada, and Baja California.
During our travels over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of calling over 50 hosts home for the night.
I’ve laid my head to rest in Cajun swamps, moonshine distilleries, lavender farms, wineries, and just about everything in between. We’ve had some awesome stays and some not-so-awesome stays.
So here’s my honest Harvest Hosts review after nearly three years of membership and RVing all over the US.
What is Harvest Hosts?
Harvests Hosts is an RV membership program that provides its members with unique places for overnight stays around North America.
The company partners with wineries, farms, museums, churches, and other applicable locations, allowing self-contained RVers a single-night stay at the host site in exchange for patronizing the business.
The program has both a user-friendly website and a mobile app that allows you to apply preferences to your host search, such as RV size, pet-friendly, same-day reservations, etc.
It was founded in 2010 and has grown exponentially since the new owners purchased the program in 2018. With the ever-growing popularity of RVing since 2020, it has continued to thrive!
How to Find Harvest Hosts Locations
The best way to find a Harvest Hosts location is to plan your travel route and find hosts along the way.
We plan our routes with a starting point and add any major destinations we want to see along the way, keeping our desired end location in mind.
But similar to life, it’s not about the destination. It’s the journey. The fun begins in the in-between.
Finding Locations with the Harvest Hosts Website
It’s as easy as pulling up the Harvest Hosts website, typing in the location you’re interested in staying for the night, adding any desired preferences to your search, and selecting Find Hosts.
The program also has the option to show hosts along a particular route.
For example, in the Search section, if you select Route, and enter Nashville, TN and Knoxville, TN, the map will display host locations along the route.
From here, you can:
- View each host along your route
- Read descriptions about the hosts
- See photos from other stays
- Read reviews from other members who stayed at the location
- Get contact information
- Request a reservation
Requesting a Harvest Hosts Reservation
Most hosts allow reservation requests to be made directly through the Harvest Hosts app or website, but you’ll still run into the occasional host who requires you to contact them via phone or email directly to request your stay.
Harvest Hosts Cost
As mentioned before, in order to stay at these host locations, you agree to patronize the business. If not, that’s called freeloading, and we’re not about taking advantage of small businesses’ hospitality, now are we?
Harvest Hosts Suggested Spend
The suggested spending at a host business is a minimum of $20. You’re not breaking the bank here. That’s the amount of a dozen eggs, a jar of honey, and some fresh produce at a farm or a couple of wine tastings.
A total bargain for the ability to wake up somewhere with what feels like a million-dollar view and with the added bonus of knowing you helped support local businesses.
But, the Harvest Hosts program is not free. In addition to the money spent at each host you visit, you must also pay your Harvest Hosts annual membership fee.
Harvest Hosts Membership Cost
There are three Harvest Hosts membership plans available.
Harvest Hosts Classic Plan
The Harvest Hosts Classic plan is priced at $99/year and gives you access to the over 4,000 wineries, attractions, farms, and breweries or distilleries in their registry.
Harvest Hosts + Boondockers Welcome
You can now upgrade your membership to include the Boondockers Welcome membership option totaling $169/year, adding 3,400 private property host locations to your choice of host stays.
Harvest Hosts All Access Plan
Lastly, there’s the All Access plan, which costs $179/year. It includes all of the above plus the addition of golf courses, dump stations, and weather and cell coverage data information within the app.
Can You Save Money With Harvest Hosts?
Short answer: Depends. I have spent over $75 at a host. We treat our Harvest Host nights as our date nights on the road. So if you were to add the cost of a date night/experience + place to stay, it’s a deal.
We’ve also saved a lot on camping fees using Harvest Host stays. It’s really hard to find a campground for under $20/night these days.
Yes, you can boondock on public land or a store parking lot for free, but Harvest Hosts is a great option between free and the KOA Saturday night prices. Especially if finding unique experiences while getting from one place to another is a priority in your RV lifestyle.
Are Harvest Hosts Pet Friendly?
Typically, Harvest Hosts are pet-friendly. There have only been a handful of times I’ve applied the pet-friendly filter on the Harvest Hosts’ website or app and found a lack of options.
But are Harvest Hosts really dog-friendly?
Some places will allow your pets to stay with you in your RV, but ask that your dog stays at the RV for the entirety of your stay.
What if they don’t allow them inside the building and it’s raining or cold outside on the patio? What if your pet doesn’t do well with other dogs, and you see pictures of the farm dog in member review photos?
These are all things to remember when selecting your host as a fur parent.
Why I Love Harvest Hosts
I love wine, that’s why. Aside from that, I love meeting new people.
I’ve had some amazing conversations with other Harvest Hosts members and the business owners themselves, the kind of conservations you wouldn’t have at RV parks or another traditional campground.
Changing up your views is always nice. We’ve woken up to a sunrise over a farm and said cheers to a sunset over a vineyard.
After you’ve been on the road for a while, you fall into a bit of a routine, and staying at an alpaca farm rather than a campground or parking lot is a great way to add some variety to your route.
Challenges of Harvest Hosts
Here are a few of the challenges that come with camping at Harvest Hosts locations.
The biggest challenge with staying at Harvest Hosts tends to occur in the summer season. Most hosts do not offer electric/water/sewer hookups. This means you’ll be dry camping in your RV, which can be tough in hot climates. Occasionally, you’ll find a host that will allow you to connect to a power source for a fee.
There are no unlimited overnight stays. Most hosts only allow one to two nights max.
In certain parts of the states, the wine is more expensive than you’d expect, so costs can quickly rise before you even purchase a bottle!
Other factors you’ll have to consider are the bumpy farm roads, tight squeezes you may experience in vineyards, or the not-so-quiet environment of a distillery in a commercial lot.
Tips for Harvest Hosts RV Camping
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right host location and have a pleasant stay in your camper.
Check the Wine List
For wineries, check the host website for the wine list – they might have positive reviews, but if 90% of the wines are sweet and you like a dry vintage, you might want to select another host option.
Check for Events
If you’re looking for a quiet night stay, check the host’s social media page and website to ensure there are no events happening on the date of your stay.
Check the business hours for the host and show up at least an hour before closing. This will allow you to settle in and patronize the business before it shuts down for the night.
Communication with the host is key. If you’ll be late or have to cancel due to changing travel plans, let them know immediately.
Harvest Hosts FAQ
A few of the most asked questions about the Harvest Hosts program are answered here.
How long can you stay at Harvest Host locations?
One night. The general understanding is you will arrive in the afternoon and leave the next morning or by noon at the latest. Although some Harvest Hosts will allow a second-night stay, we don’t recommend making it a habit of taking advantage of hosts’ generosity!
Is Harvest Hosts and Boondockers the same?
Boondockers Welcome is an additional program in the Harvest Hosts family. Unlike Harvest Hosts, which offers business host locations, Boondockers allows RVers to stay on residential property locations for up to 5 days.
Many of these locations offer hookups. Boondockers can be purchased separately or as an add-on to Harvest Hosts.
Is Harvest Hosts Membership Worth It?
Absolutely, yes. The program offers experiences you can’t find at a campground for a much more affordable price. Some of your best and most memorable nights on the road can be at a Harvest Hosts location.
A Harvest Hosts Review – Final Thoughts
They say the best way to experience local culture is to eat and drink it.
During our first year as full-time RVers, we actually collected wine from hosts around the country and served them to our guests at our wedding as a way to bring our family and friends with us on our travels.
Aside from the eats and drinks – the unique locations and hospitable business owners make this camping style full of memorable, amazing experiences!
Sign Up for a Harvest Hosts Membership
Has this Harvest Hosts review piqued your interest?
If you think this RV membership program sounds like something that fits into your RV travel style, sign up for a Harvest Hosts annual membership now and start booking your unique RV overnight experiences today.
Want to find out more about how to RV on a budget?
Learn how to find cheap campsites and workamping gigs, budget for RV life, and more – view our complete guide.
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